Greece’s rich ancient cultural heritage, mythical and historical locations will now be available through a free app called “Topos Text” courtesy of an idea by Brady Kiesling, a former ancient historian and archaeologist from California who returned to scholarship after working for twenty years as a diplomat for the U.S. State Department in Israel, Morocco, Greece, and Armenia.
Topos Text presents 5,000 places relevant to the ancient Greek world - from ancient cities and shrines, medieval castles and towers, modern museums and excavation sites - primarily in Greece but including major places from Spain to the Caucasus. The application links those places to the ancient authors who wrote about them in Greek or Latin, using a huge library of ancient texts married to a detailed gazetteer.
Selecting from this index list, which can be filtered by date, genre, and relevance, connects one to the full text of 240-odd ancient Greek works in English translation, some with the original Ancient Greek as well. Thus, at a glance and from any location, you can select and read the passages in ancient literature that give a place its historical and cultural meaning.
The Topos Text website includes →
-A portable library of ancient texts with more than 530 sources on Greek history, mythology and geography in English
-A database with more than 5,350 ancient locations, modern museums and archaeological sites, which covers the entirety of the ancient Greek world.
-An interactive map and index which links every location with the ancient source which has some reference to it
-An index of thousands of proper names
-Specific coordinates that allow the user to enlarge an area in the map enough to actually see the ancient ruins
An event to present the application to the public will be held tomorrow December 7, at the Historical Library of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, at 19:00. Speakers include Dr. Eleni Korka, director general of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at the ministry of culture, Brady Kiesling, Dr. Elton Barker, co-founder of Pelagios Project at the Open University in the UK and Dr. Stavros Paspalas, deputy director of the Australian Archaeological Institute.
The app was developed by IT company Pavla AE and was supported by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.
The app will prove useful for millions of visitors to Greece, particularly history and archaeology enthusiasts, researchers, students but also ordinary travellers.